Pros and Cons of Using the Internet to Diagnose Orthopedic Disorders

The internet is a wonderful marvel and has resulted in easy access to a plethora of information. This can have both positive and negative outcomes to consider. Your orthopedic doctor recommends pondering these subjects before attempting to self-diagnose your orthopedic issues.

Advantages

Quick identification or elimination of conditions
Often, a good orthopedic doctor is booked for several weeks and scheduling an appointment takes some time and effort. Consulting the internet for a diagnosis can help you identify serious conditions that may constitute an emergency, or give you the peace of mind that waiting will not make things worse.

Educated Patients
When you have a potential match of your symptoms, you can read about related conditions to be a better informed patient. You will be able to formulate a comprehensive list of questions to ask during your appointment, which can help set you at ease.

Easier Access to Medical Experts
For patients living in rural or underdeveloped areas, it can be a very long trip to get to an orthopedic doctor. For this group, internet diagnosis can provide an essential link to valuable medical opinions through a more convenient delivery method.

Disadvantages

Cyberchondria
How many times have you checked a medical website for conditions matching your symptoms and had any degree of panic at the resulting list? You then imagine the worst and mentally give yourself every dread disease possible. There is definitely no substitution for a professional diagnosis.

Inaccuracies or Incomplete Responses
While plenty of great research is available online, there is also a lot of incorrect information that may try to pass as credible. In other cases, you may be providing a set of symptoms that is not exactly the entire picture, which will lead to a misdiagnosis. These issues can be very harmful to you as a prospective patient, especially if you then attempt to self-medicate.

Commercialized responses
The primary theme of the internet is a money making machine. By that token, much of the information out there is sponsored by a profit-seeking company. Medical information can masquerade as legitimate research when it is actually an attempt to solicit customers.

The internet is a wonderful tool that has helped patients become more educated and knowledgeable. Used with common sense, it can help you obtain the best in medical care. Consult your orthopedic doctor with your issues before you take your care into your own hands.

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